If you have enough plants, do you need a biological filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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If you have enough plants, do you need a biological filter?

I have chloramites in my water and as you know when using tap water conditioner, you are left with ammonia.

I forgot to plug in my sponge filter(biological) and only had a single air stone. I tested the water and it had almost no ammonia in the water.

I am not sure if it was biological bacteria in the eco-complete substrate or the sides of the aquarium or if it was the massive overgrown Egeria Densa (Brazilian Elodea)weed( Anacharis ) or duckweed that had taken over the top of the aquarium.

Anyway, I was thinking of setting up a quarantine tank for new fish but I don't have month to setup a cycled tank.

I was wondering if I threw in a ton of this Anacharis ( Brazil water weed) into the tank if it would keep the ammonia down naturally?

I know plant absorb ammonia but I don't know how much.


Thanks

75 Gallon community planted Aquarium. Pearl Gourami,Golden barbs, zebra, pearl Danios,black neon tetra, glow-light, denson barb, Rasboras, cherry barbs, fancy tail guppies, hachet fish, rosy tetra, flame tetra
29 gallon Gold fish tank(1 large fish)
55 gallon planted red cherry shrimp tank, otto, neon tetra, white cloud.
10 gallon betta tank
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 06:44 AM
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Usually when you are buying new fish you are not buying so many that the Q-tank is densely stocked, so less bio filter is OK. Plants and microorganisms are both part of the bio filter.
You can add the plants to the Q-tank, they help a lot. Plus, growing on the plant leaves and stems are nitrifying bacteria. Just do not take so much from the established tank that it goes into a mini cycle.

If you are buying more than just a few fish, or you think the plants are not enough, you can also get a bottle of bacteria that includes Nitrospira species of bacteria. These are the bacteria that you grow when you do a fishless cycle. Don't waste your money on anything else. Use part of the bottle in the Q-tank and put the rest in the fridge. When you are ready to add the new fish to the main tank, add some of the bacteria to the main tank to boost the population of microorganisms in there, just to be sure.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 12:48 PM
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For my quarantine tanks, I only use a sponge filter, and have artificial hides ( plastic plants / pvc )
If you use a quarantine tank to treat parasites or other ailments, the chemicals/ meds will often kill ur live plants.
Monitor ammonia levels, and do water changes accordingly.Tank shouldnt need to cycle fully.
I'm constantly draining and refilling when I need to.

Be careful when buying bottled aerobic bacteria. The concept is counterintuitive. You re buying bacteria that requires oxygen in the form of a sealed, air tight container.

A DIY kinda GUY

Last edited by Mikevwall; 03-19-2016 at 12:52 PM. Reason: My thoughts on that
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 04:19 PM
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Remember plants only consume ammonia while their is sufficient light for photosynthesis. The fish (and plants) need a night time (lights off) and during this time ammonia will build up in the tank. I'd recommend you still use a filter.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 12:57 AM
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All depends on bioload and type/amount of plants. I tested a high bioload (maybe 10 fish? can't remember) 10g tank covered heavily in floating plants, no filter. Once I saw the .5 ammonia reading, I moved the fish out of the tank and left it with only plants to see how long before all ammonia would be taken up. It took about 30 hrs to read 0 ammonia. The same tank and plants with only two or three small fish, I never see ammonia levels over 0, and have no filters. I change the water about 50% a month. So the key is low bioload, heavy floating plants. I don't believe planted plants do as good of a job as floaters.

Last edited by AWolf; 03-20-2016 at 01:03 AM. Reason: ediy
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